P&S Journal: Winter 1995, Vol.15, No.1
Streamlining of DNA Blood Typing for Rapid Testing
Dr. Roberta Reed, research scientist in medicine and director of clinical chemistry at Bassett Healthcare, has streamlined a procedure that enables DNA blood typing to be conducted on large numbers of people in less than 24 hours.
Dr. Reed described the procedure in a poster session at the annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Chemists attended by 10,000 professionals worldwide. The presentation won a $1,000 first prize as the best poster in the lipid section.
"Most genetic testing is fairly lengthy," Dr. Reed says. "To speed up the blood test we split the DNA and focus on a little part." The test can be performed on a drop of whole blood or on a blood spot dried on a piece of paper. Testing a dried blood spot eliminates the risk of infection in handling and the need for shipping samples with dry ice.
Rapid blood testing targets APoE, a protein that transports fat in the blood. Research shows a correlation between people with variants of APoE in their blood and a high risk for heart disease and late onset Alzheimer's disease.
"Most of the research we're doing is on the role played by fat on heart disease and some study of the effect of fat on the risk of cancer," Dr. Reed says. "All subjects recruited have been APoE tested. We're looking at how people respond to diet and drugs depending on what type of APoE they have."